Dear LMS Parents & Guardians,
Welcome to the second semester! During the first semester you may have heard your child talking about “ICU” and maybe you’re wondering what that is, why LMS has started implementing this system, how the system works, and what you can do to help. This letter aims to address those questions and provide you with additional information related to ICU.
What is ICU?
- ICU stands for Intensive Care Unit, just like in a hospital (see www.poweroficu.com). ICU is an academic support system for students as well as a communication tool for teachers and parents. The foundation of this system is built on the importance of all students completing all assignments. ICU utilizes a database list to track missing assignments. Assignments that need additional attention may also be added to the database list. The database alerts you if your child is added to the ICU database list via text and email. You can expect to begin receiving these alerts when the database goes live which will be around February 18, 2020 . The ICU database is secure and only accessible to LMS staff members, so you can be confident that your contact information remains only within the parameters of school staff, just as it is currently via ProgressBook. ICU is a system of support and practice, not a system that is punitive or related to school discipline.
- LMS staff has studied ICU since late fall of 2018 after a team of teachers heard about the system during the Ohio School Improvement Institute conference. We have completed book studies, worked in collaborative groups and given elements of the system a try (which is why you may have already heard your child talking about ICU prior to receiving this information). It was important for us to take our time to learn about ICU and the philosophy behind the system since full implementation of ICU impacts each and every student, parent, teacher and staff member. Through our studies, LMS staff agrees that it is critical for all students to complete all assignments. Why? We want each and every student to be successful! Their academic success depends on practicing assignments aligned to our state’s academic standards. We must provide practice and time and additional time, when necessary, for students to complete practice. Students must be able to show us what they know and are able to do as they work toward mastery of each academic standard. LMS staff also agrees that ICU will be another tool we can use to foster our Leaders & Learners Habits of Mind: Committed, Character, Curiosity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, and Communication.
- LMS staff recognizes your willingness to help your child academically and we could not appreciate this more! We also recognize the inconsistent nature of how missing assignments and assignments that need additional attention are currently communicated to you all at home. Our ProgressBook system is helpful, however the timeliness of how you receive the information depends on each teacher’s method of entering information into ProgressBook. With the ICU system, you will receive this information on the same day the assignment is entered to the database. This timely communication will help teachers and parents collaborate on both assignment completion and demonstration of standards mastery.
- ICU aligns to three of our district’s strategic plan goals:
- Teaching and Learning: Lakewood Local invests in our staff by providing the tools and resources necessary to achieve high standards of excellence to reach every learner at every level.
- Communication and Trust: At Lakewood Local we build trust one interaction at a time.
- Social Emotional Well-Being: By building trusting relationships with our students, staff and their families, Lakewood Local promotes a culture where all are physically and emotionally
How does ICU work?
- Students with missing practice assignments or assignments that need additional practice/additional time spent will be placed on the ICU List.
- Students will be given an opportunity to complete the assignment(s) on their own.
- If the work remains unfinished or continues to need attention, additional arrangements will be made for students to complete the practice assignment(s), thereby ensuring that students have the time they need to complete a high quality product.
- Additional time to complete assignments may take place before school, during lunch (current “Working Lunch” will now be “Lunch ICU”), after school, etc.
- Some grade levels have carved out time during Leaders & Learners to implement ICU time for students.
- Grade levels may choose to implement “Blitz Days.” During Blitz Days students will be provided additional time to complete assignment(s) while other students may be engaging in an activity that is fun and educational. Remember that ICU is not meant to be punitive, however we recognize that children may feel “punished” if they are working on assignment completion while other classmates are engaging in a different activity. It will be critically important for all of us to communicate to students that it is okay to need some extra time and/or receive extra support from their teachers.
- Individual teachers may also use some class time to ensure all assignments are completed and of high quality.
- LMS will assign specific staff members to be “ICU Lifeguards.” Once our Lifeguards are in place, they will be an additional layer of support to help students overcome roadblocks in assignment completion. Of course, every teacher will remain each student’s primary “lifeguard,” but we understand that it’s important for students to know that all of us are pulling for their success and supporting them along the way.
- Every LMS staff member will support every student in assignment completion. Each staff member has access to the ICU List and will engage students by asking:
- “Who do you owe?” or “What’s on your ICU List?”
- “What do you need (to complete assignments on the list)?”
- “How can I help?”
How can I help?
- Feel free to use the questions above to get conversations started with your child ?
- Feel free to reach out to LMS teachers if/when you receive an ICU notification and need additional information about the assignment(s) in the notification.
- Feel free to contact any member of the ICU Implementation Team to provide feedback on the system. ICU Implementation Team contact information is provided at the end of this letter. As we continue to roll in ICU, your perspective is important to us.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this information. If you want to know and understand more about ICU, join us for an information night on February 11, 2020 at 5:30pm in the LMS Auditorium.
LMS ICU Implementation Team
Mrs. Vayansky, 6th Grade ELA Teacher
Ms. Prince, 6th Grade Math Teacher
Mrs. Hawthorn, 8th Grade Science Teacher
Mrs. Fry, Principal